A poor Broughty Athletic battled back to secure another vital point today as they drew 1-1 with second bottom side Jeanfield Swifts at Riverside Park.
A changed Broughty side saw Ryan Blair start on the bench, bringing his 14 league starts to an end since he joined from the Amateurs in the summer. Joining him was Jay Smart who returned from a bout of the flu, missing the draw against Linlithgow last Saturday. Starting up front were the strike partnership of Stewart McConnachie and James Collier.
It was the home side to start brightly, having three clear-cut chances in the opening minutes as Broughty failed to find a pass let alone a player. Iain Ross’s crossbar was rattled in the second minute following an uncleared Jeanfield corner. It took until the 8th minute for the Fed to register their first effort on goal, James Collier seeing his header saved easily. Then on 13mins Ross pulled off a fantastic save with his legs as he dived the other way from a Jeanfield edge of the box shot. 60 seconds later and Broughty tried again, this time Brian Clark seeing his long-range effort saved well.
On 28mins Collier tried again from 20yrds out but his shot was saved. Then just on the half hour mark, Broughty tried again, firstly Clark’s effort was parried away by the Swifts keeper only to Ryan Suttie but his effort was saved again and cleared. Then three minutes before half-time the home side took a deserved lead. A throw in wasn’t dealt with letting the Swifts striker unleash a strike on goal past Ross, 1-0 H/T.
The second half started the same as the first, with Jeanfield doing the pressing and having more possession of the ball. On 51mins Ross was in action again, this time saving a Jeanfield free kick. 54mins Paul McLellan’s cross found Collier but he headered wide of the goal. Then on 69mins Broughty equalised courtesy of Brian Clark’s left-footed effort across the goal and into the net, 1-1. 76mins and Broughty thought they had taken the lead but substitute Kane Hester saw his chance go the wrong side of the goalpost after he slid in beating the keeper to the ball.
Broughty stepped up the park looking to nick the winner but goalscorer Brian Clark was sent off for his second bookable offence after being invited in to make a challenge on the Swifts defender who went down far too easily. In the 89th minute, the home side had their last chance of the game, shooting over the bar from 12yrds out, 1-1 F/T.
Summing up, a poor Broughty display all round today. They just never got going until the latter half of the second half. Players were second to the majority of the balls and play. A couple of vital great saves by Ross in the goal kept the scoreline down. Jeanfield looked by far the hungrier and wanted the ball constantly. They dealt with everything that came their defence’s way and looked comfortable at times and broke up the park on numerous occasions but for dogged Broughty defending.
Man of the Match for the Fed goes to Ryan Suttie who battled for everything be it in the air or on the ground. A few last ditch tackles also were thrown in to save his team mates time and time again.